United Kingdom - Start-Up Visa

Home United Kingdom – Start-Up Visa
United Kingdom - Start-Up Visa



You can apply for a Start-up visa if:

  1. you want to set up a business in the UK
  2. you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland
  3. you meet the other eligibility requirements


Getting endorsed

You must be endorsed by an authorized body that is either:

  1. a UK higher education institution
  2. a business organisation with a history of supporting UK entrepreneurs

You must be able to show that your business idea is:

  1. a new idea – you cannot join or invest in a business that is already trading
  2. viable, with potential for growth

Read the endorsing bodies list – you should only approach ones that are suitable for your business idea.


How long it takes to get a visa

The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel. You should get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks. You can check the guide processing times to find out how long getting a visa might take in your country.


How much you pay for a Start-up visa depends on your situation and where you apply from.

Who you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Switch (in the UK)
Yourself £363 £493
If you’re a citizen of Turkey or Macedonia £308 £438
All dependants £363 each person £493 each person


Healthcare surcharge

You’ll also have to pay the healthcare surcharge as part of your application. Check how much you’ll have to pay before you apply.

How long you can stay

You can stay in the UK for 2 years on a Start-up visa.

You cannot apply to extend this visa.

If your endorsement is withdrawn

Your visa may be cut short if your endorsement is withdrawn. If you want to stay longer, you must re-apply with a new endorsement before your current visa expires.

You can only stay for a total of 2 years even if you’re granted a new visa with a new endorsement.

What you can and cannot do

You can:

  1. bring family members with you
  2. switch to this visa from some other visa categories
  3. work in another job, as well as working for your business

You cannot:

  1. get public funds
  2. work as a doctor or dentist in training
  3. work as a professional sportsperson, for example a sports coach
  4. settle in the UK on this visa

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